Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Mama Taxi

Many people have asked how we plan to get to the hospital in Tokyo. Although we have had an offer to take us and bring us home, we plan to use a new "mama taxi" service for the big day or, possibly, the big night. Since leaving the hospital is a bit more predictable, we plan to take advantage of this person's kind offer to bring us home.

This past fall, Nihon Kotsu taxi company started a new service for expecting mothers. You pre-register your due date, phone number, primary address, and your hospital. You can also register a second phone number and address.

Photo from a recent Japan Times article on this new service (see link)
We registered online via the Japanese website a while back, but it recently occurred to me to see if Kotsu's English language line was connected to this service. It turned out to be a good check of the system and my accurate registration.

When I called the English language line, the operator read my address to me, confirming that I could use that phone number.  She also doublechecked that I did not need the taxi that had been automatically requested when the system recognized my number. Since I was not in labor, she cancelled the taxi. I was pretty impressed with the reliability of the service.

We subsequently called a second time to take a taxi for a routine medical visit. Again, we confirmed that I was not in labor, but the taxi was at our door within 5 minutes. In fact, the driver buzzed our apartment before we even managed to get out the door.  Since then, we've avoided calling the English language line, but it's great to know it works.

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